Stock footage of Eskimos, icebergs, and dogsled scenes were borrowed from the film "S.O.S. Eisberg" a 1933 German-US coproduction starring Leni Riefenstahl. Universal used the same scenes of Eskimos gazing skyward and launching their kayaks in "The Deadly Mantis (1957). See more »
Opening title is composed of snowflakes. See more »
Doc from Gunsmoke makes a very beat-up action hero
The Great Alaskan Mystery isn't the greatest of serials, but it is certainly far from the worst. The animated title card at the beginning is a nice touch by Universal, which did the same for The Mystery of the Riverboat.
Milburn Stone has to be the most beat-up, bruised, drowned, shot and has been in the most near-death truck plunges of any action hero in any serial. The story notes that to begin with his character is a wounded soldier returning home. Martin Kosleck makes a great scientist/bad guy, though he does not quite yet have the evil glee that he threw into those roles in later years (such as in The Flesh Eaters). Edgar Kennedy is almost unrecognizable, but provides some nice comic touches. The rest of the cast is pretty unremarkable, except for Anthony Warde, who delivers his usual solid performance as the main henchman.
There are a lot of nice visuals in this serial, though many are obviously stock footage. There are also a number of really bad cliffhangers...the kind in which you know there is no bloody way the hero is going to survive. That doesn't necessarily detract from the chapterplay as a whole, since by the time the worst one happens (involving a falling mine elevator and a crate of dynamite) you already know that Milburn Stone's character can really take the punishment.
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